Just one homeowner among the tens of thousands facing foreclosure has been was helped under a government plan its supporters in Congress, among them Rep. Barney Frank, had predicted would save 400,000 homes.
Passed in 2008, the legislation was designed to help homeowners avoid losing their homes as the market slumped, job losses skyrocketed, and foreclosures loomed for delinquent mortgages.
The act was supported to help troubled borrowers to contact their lenders, discuss how to qualify for help, and then refinance their mortgages under provisions of the bill.
Now, to the rescue again, comes the Senate which approved a new bill in early May which would increase federal help to financially troubled homeowners facing foreclosure. It aims to protect mortgage companies participating in loan refinancing under the act from lawsuits and mandates at least 90 days notice before renters of foreclosed residences are evicted.
Other provisions of the bill include a new federal effort to prevent homelessness, a growing problem in this disastrous economy as tent cities multiply around the nation. It also allows for a higher borrowing limit for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, to $100 billion from a previous $30 billion.
Among opponents of the measure was Senator Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.).
"If all else fails, the lender always has the right to take back the house for which he lent the money," said Kyl.
"If we eliminate this security for lenders...then lenders will have to charge higher rates," he said.
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